anxiety at the gym? — The Bump
Health & Exercise

anxiety at the gym?

i have been working with a trainer for the past few weeks. she finally gave me a workout routine to do on the days that we dont meet (one day is lower body, one day is upper body with cardio and abs both days). but.... im totally intimidated at the gym. my gym (a golds) has the main floor where most of the machines are (by the free weights where all of the dudes hang out and pump iron). im terrified to go down there and use the machines. im not sure if im afraid that someone will judge my weight and lack of fitness or tell me that im doing something wrong. yesterday i went in with full intentions to use the machines and get it done, but i ended up leaving after doing my cardio (which is upstairs away from the main floor).
WTH???
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Re: anxiety at the gym?

  • Everybody there was new at a gym at some point or other.  If they are truly there to get a workout in, I highly doubt anyone is going to be judging you (and if they do, then eff 'em).  If anything, hopefully if someone notices you doing something wrong they will help you.  I'd also suggest asking the assistance of a staff member for any machine you are not familiar with or completely comfortable with.
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  • I know the feeling...but there are always lots of other newbies at the gym.  We all gotta start somewhere, right?

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  • I have been going to the gym for a looooong loooong time.  And I will tell you, the only time I have ever thought anything negative about another gym goer is when they're NOT working out.  (Like the guy who comes to the gym, sits on the stability ball, and watches baseball games.)

    If someone seems not especially fit, the only thing that runs through my head is: good for them!  (or, "it's going to be so cool for them when they start improving/getting faster/stronger/etc.")  As others have said, everyone starts somewhere!

    And if you're working with a trainer, chances are you've got the form down better than you think.  I do get that thought sometimes like "what if someone comes and tells me I'm doing it wrong."  But that's never happened (other than DH telling me to keep my butt down during a plank).  And if it did, that's kind of a nice thing!  Like someone is trying to help you out - I don't think it would ever be done in a mean-spirited way.
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  • You've been working with a trainer so you know what you are doing- I know my fear when I started going to the gym in college was just not knowing what do with free weights and on the machines- you got this!! Go! Work it!!
  • I'm a trainer and I think its awesome that you are attempting to work out with weights on your own time. You're doing your homework :-) If you're doing something wrong, you can rebuttal by saying it's what your trainer suggested, or you can take their advice so you are working the proper muscles. Help isn't a bad thing. Better to know early IF it is wrong so you don't get injured.
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  • When I first started working out I was also really intimidated by the gym.  I try to put blinders on and have a really good playlist I can zone out to when I work out and just ignore all the other people (with still being courteous lol).  Anyone who judges you for doing something to improve yourself or something for your health isn't worth worrying about (and probably no one is actually judging).  
  • i'll first tell you this, i train 6 days a week and i've been in competitions. the second thing i'll tell you is, i used to be almost 200 lbs once! i was scared once to even go inside the gym, but i promise you that no one is judging you or even looking at you. everyone at the gym is usually too busy doing their own thing. you need to remember, even the best bodybuilders all started somewhere, no one's born super fit! just go in and do it! you'll regret it more if you didn't. :)
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  • I felt this way when I started Crossfit. I'm glad I didn't let it get the best of me, because I love CF and it has been fabulous during pregnancy. Don't be intimidated! We do all start somewhere and if someone gives you tips, it's not a bad thing. You'll be a pro in no time!
  • steph9039steph9039
    Second Anniversary First Comment
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    edited November 2013
    Most people at the gym are more concerned about themselves anyway and really are not paying attention! If you do have so much anxiety though why don't you workout at home! There are so many DVDs you could do and you don't have to be intimidated!
  • I love all these encouraging responses. We all felt just like you at first. I would spend time at home watching youtube videos and getting new exercise ideas, and I would look up routines on the internet, but I was still a beginner and  nervous. 

    an OP said this and it's so true. I never judge someone on the weight floor, I just think to myself that person is pretty amazing for getting to the gym and getting it done! anyone judging you or your form is a waste of space at the gym. Also I agree if someone comes along and corrects your form (which has never happened to me) just take it as kindness, because it is awesome to get a little extra tip here and there. 

    You go girl!!! 

  • I used to be the same way! In reality, no one is looking at you. Everyone is focused on their own goals and everyone has to start somewhere!
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